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Unique Inflatable Sculpture Drawing Crowds To South Coast Museum

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Paranirvana (Self-Portrait) inflatable sculpture drawing crowds to Santa Barbara Museum of Art

As you walk through the main entrance of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, you literally encounter a sleeping giant.

It’s a 26 foot long inflatable sculpture, stretched out across the back wall of the museum’s Ludington Hall.

The Buddha-like work is stretched out on its side, sleeping on a pillow.

It draws all kinds of reactions from museum visitors.  While the work is inspired by a 12th-century Buddha, it’s actually intended to look at life, death, and consciousness. 

Artist Lewis deSoto says his work, called “Paranirvana,” or Self-Portrait, incorporates some of his features, including his face, in the giant inflatable sculpture.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art Director, and CEO Larry Feinberg says they are hosting a special event this coming Sunday at 2:30, where the artist will sit down and talk with the public about the sculpture.

This work is the fourth in a series of inflatable sculptures by deSoto which are on display around the country.

"Paranirvana" will be on display through July 31st at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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